This new staging of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake from the Royal Swedish Ballet features a dance ensemble of breathtaking wonder in a majestic staging true to the values of the original production. Choreographer Sir Peter Wright has built up the role of Prince Siegfried, giving him a greater presence right from the beginning when he appears as a mourner at the funeral of his father. Sir Peter also emphasises the darker forces that will destroy the romance between the Prince and Odette, the swan transformed into a beautiful maiden. These touches are manifest through the granite-like grandeur of the castle exterior and the skilful deployment of chiaroscuro, notably in the scenes by the lake where the indigo and royal blue contrast with the brilliant white worn by the corps de ballet. There are many other imaginative touches in the choreography, from the swans' initial entry, seemingly self-propelled to suggest their airborne flight overhead, to the comical turn of the bandy legged cygnets in the "Dance of the Little Swans". Nathalie Nordquist is an enchanting Odette, and, with a slight change in makeup, a characterful Odile. The Prince, danced by Anders Nordstrom, cuts an aristocratic figure, making an elegant partner for Odette. The swans are the last word in poise and grace. On the DVD: Swan Lake is presented in 16:9 anamorphic format with the option of stereo or surround sound. The picture quality is first class with good front-to-back depth. The orchestra may not be the world's most glamorous but there's compensation in hearing this score played in the theatre acoustic for which it was written. The special features are just that: an audio commentary on the plot, a list of notable productions, an interview with the two principal dancers, a history of the Royal Swedish Ballet from Director Peter Jacobbson and, best of all, an interview of wisdom and insight from Sir Peter Wright, the choreographer, entitled "Love Transcends Death". --Adrian Edwards
Essential Ballet - The Kirov
Carmen was first set as a ballet by the famed Russian choreographer Petipa in 1845. It was based on the Merimee novella and premiered in Madrid some thirty years before Bizet's opera was first heard. Subsequent versions followed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries some using and some discarding Bizet's music. In 1949 Roland Petit created a successful vehicle for himself and his wife Zizi Jeanmaire using the Bizet score.Maya Plisetskaya always dreamed of dancing the role of Carmen and had approached Shostakovich for a score. He demurred out of respect for Bizet's celebrated opera. It was eventually Plisetskaya's husband Rodion Shchedrin who agreed to provide the music after seeing his wife and the choreographer Alberto Alonso working on some choreographic ideas. His Carmen Suite ballet based on Bizet and scored only for strings and percussion instruments was a perfect complement to Alonso's choreography and in its theatricality a showcase for Plisetskaya's considerable dramatic gifts. Shchedrin's Carmen Suite one of the darkest settings of Merimee's tragic story deeply symbolic and overtly sensual premiered at the Bolshoi Ballet on April 20 1967.
George Balanchine's Jewels performed by Opera national de Paris and directed by Gerard Mortier.
Swan Lake From the Bolshoi Theatre 1989Ballet in Two Acts Four Scenes
The legendary American choreographer Alvin Ailey is the subject of this well-balanced Tribute. Three of the four dances--"For Bird with Love", "Witness" and "Memoria"--are Ailey's, and the programme concludes with Ulysses Dove's "Episodes". Each is eloquently introduced by Judith Jamison, and each demonstrates the joyous, affectionate atmosphere which Ailey's work always seemed to generate. "For Bird with Love", a dance interpretation of the life of the seminal jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, is probably the best known and best loved of the items presented here. Ailey always relied on an element of rather camp Broadway glitz to carry his ideas beyond the hardcore audience for modern dance, and much of the work presented here is closer to Cats than to Cunningham. Overall, though, these dances are superbly structured, graceful edifices which transcend their showbiz influences, and there are few examples of the craft that are so extrovertly welcoming to the viewer. --Roger Thomas
The Nutcracker is Mikhail Baryshnikov's breathtaking and critically acclaimed Emmy-nominated production. Baryshnikov was at the height of his career as a classical dancer in 1977 when he staged this beloved holiday classic for the American Ballet Theatre. Gelsey Kirkland had left the New York City Ballet to dance with the Russian superstar and their partnership was magical. In this Soviet-influenced version Baryshnikov casts himself as the hero who is transformed from a wooden figure to a soaring prince and Kirkland plays an adolescent girl of delicacy and vulnerability. Alexander Minz portrays Drosselmeyer a mysterious wizard who not only conjures the fantasy but aslo dances with the romantic couple. Kenneth Schermerhorn conducts the National Philharmonic in a fast-paced performance of Tchaikovsky's music. Celebrated by critics and public alike Baryshnikov's The Nutcracker delivers a brilliant and sparkling adaptation of the famous E.T.A. Hoffmann tale along with Tchaikovsky's classic score.
A performance of the Glazunov ballet written in 1898. Yuri Grogorovich choreographs based on the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Alexander Grosky....
A 'blend' of ballet contemporary dance and Chinese dance which follows the seasons of the year. Choreography by Lin Hwai-Min. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's extraordinary blend of contemporary dance ballet and traditional CHinese dance takes it influence from elements as diverse as calligraphy meditation and martial arts. Here in the choreography of artistic director Lin Hwai-Min age-old beliefs and stories are brought into contemporary and universal perspective taking inspiration from the bamboo seen in China as a symbol of integrity and epitome of elegance.
Die KameliendameBallet By John NeumeierMusic By Frederic Chopin
The Australian Ballet began life fired by the passion of a handful of people who had a dream. This is a dream since shared by thousands of dancers choreographers designers and enthusiasts who have come to share the joy of ballet over the past 40 years. In Beyond 40 David McAllister and Adrian Burnett present these people and their dance: from Dame Peggy Van Praagh and Sir Robert Helpman to modern talents such as Stephen Page Stephen Baynes and Stanton Welch. Using Graeme Mu
Kenneth MacMillan choreographed his last ballet The Judas Tree for Irek Mukhamedov who takes the lead in this striking production. A vampish woman turns up on a building site in dockland wastes and causes an explosive reaction amongst a group of thirteen workmen led by their Foreman. In the heated confusion only one man responds with tenderness. Gradually the dark underside of male sexuality is exposed and the power of peer pressure takes over. The ballet spirals into a climax
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme: Comedie-ballet de Moliere & Lully
TchaikovskyThe Sleeping BeautyBallet in Three ActsPrincess Aurora - Veronica TennantPrince Florimund - Rudolf NureyevKing Florestan - Charles KirbyThe Queen - Susan MenckCatalabutte - Simon SemonoffCarabosse - Celia FrancaThe Lilac Fairy - Kristine SoleriThe Bluebird - Frank AugustynPrincess Florine - Karen KainSoloists Artists and Orchestra of the National Ballet of CanadaGeorge Crum conductor
Recorded at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1989.Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker which was written in 1891 premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892 and first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow in 1919 shows no sign of losing its hold as the No. 1 Christmas ballet. It is based on the fairytale The Nutcracker and the King of Mice written by E.T.A. Hoffman and tells the story of the young girl Clara who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads.The ballet is a fantastic tale presented in the choreography of Yuri Grigorovich. It is filled with beautiful music - the Waltz of the Snow flakes and the pas de deux of Sugar-Plum Fairy and Prince have become immortal - as well as enchanting costumes and a fabulous setting at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
The multi-award-winning dance film Amelia (2002) explores the use of point technique using extended intertwining solos, complex partnering sequences and extreme speed to generate powerful performances with unexpected moments of tender emotion and serenity. Edouard Lock uses intricate choreography for both camera and dancers, creating amazing and constantly shifting points of view. Trademark performances, brilliant and relentless, combined with the delicate sensual lighting of Andr? Turpin and the minimalist environment of a giant wooden box with rounded forms that seems to have no exit, create a disturbingly exquisite and moving experience. The original score, written by David Lang for violin, cello, piano and voice, combines evocative minimalism with lyrics from five of Lou Reed's most famous works, created in the 60s for The Velvet Underground.
Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty - A Ballet On Ice
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